PLM This Week: Autodesk Uses Machine Learning to Find Part Models
Felix Nilsson posted on August 08, 2016 | 9810 views

Autodesk Launches “Google for 3D models”

Autodesk is one of the most proactive companies when it comes bringing new ideas into the PLM and CAD software arena. This is especially true when it comes to solutions hosted in the cloud. 

Last week the company added another piece of software to its portfolio. Design Graph uses new technologies to tackle the age old question of design data management.

It all began with the developers at Autodesk asking themselves the question: How can we better organize design information in a way that is more in line with how humans think and create?

The answer was: "A kind of Google for 3D models."

The Design Graph is based on machine learning, using algorithms to analyze large amounts of 3D design data, which is then categorized into a dynamic and adaptable directory system right down to the smallest component. It is available as part of Autodesk's cloud service A360.

“We have created Design Graph so that designers can focus their time on the right things. The software saves time, remove unnecessary steps and reduces the risk of costly mistakes,” said Mike Haley, Senior Director of Machine Intelligence at Autodesk.

Due to recent advances in programming, combined with the almost unlimited computing capacity of the clou,d a computer can now make its own proposals based on what it has previously "learned" and identified.  With Design Graph your computer can identify and find models based on shape, texture and pattern - instead of being tied to a particular component’s metadata.

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence has already made its appearance in our everyday lives, but as far as we know, Design Graph the first application of this type in industrial design and mechanical engineering. This is the first time Autodesk is taking advantage of this powerful technology to clearly improve and push forward the design process. The potential is huge and we believe there is much to be gained from machine learning in the future,” says Mike Haley.


CIMdata: PTC Leader in PLM for Aerospace and Defense

Who is the leading provider of PLM solutions in terms of investment for the aerospace industry? It’s PTC, at least according to PLM consultancy and research firm CIMdata’s annual report on the PLM market. 

In the publicly published part of the report, CIMdata notes that in regards to cPDm - which stands for "Collaborative Product Definition Management," ie. solutions for collaboration in product development - PTC has the largest share of investments in the aerospace & defense sector.

“Based on our studies, we can conclude that PTC for the second consecutive year, is in the lead with its Windchill portfolio,” said CIMdata’s VP of Research, Stan Przybylinski.

The PTC portfolio includes smart, connected solutions that have improved at a rapid pace through PTC's investment into Internet of Things technology. Via the ThingWorx software, PTC's customers have access to tools that span the entire product lifecycle, from product ideas to field service and monitoring. Through this connection, customers can use the PLM system to leverage operational data as the basis for improvement of the products.

In the report (CIMdata 2016 Market Analysis Report (MAR) Series) the analyst notes further that expected PLM investments will amount to $ 52.3 billion in 2020, due in part to increasing sales of tools for digital manufacturing to $ 886 million. Within the aerospace industry, known for being an early adopter when it comes to technology related investments, CIMdata also expects that companies will replace and upgrade a large number of software solutions.

"Manufacturers in aerospace and defense will continue to consider investment in PLM strategies and techniques as key initiatives for innovation, the ability to differentiate their products and to create more efficient processes in product development as a whole," states the CIMdata report, adding that, "Manufacturers all over the world are working to find ways to implement and modernize their technology and business processes to meet the new market requirements."

Kevin Wrenn, divisional manager of PLM at PTC responded to this praise,“We are proud to once again assume the top position in CIMdata's evaluation and we continue to engage in high-quality, market-leading solutions for Aersospace & Defense.”

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